Friday, October 28, 2016

From my neck down

I am dead from my neck down. My body has experienced so much trauma. My heart is broken. My feet are aching. My greatest fear is not that I will die, that I will have to live the rest of my life like this. 

Trapped in an endless darkness, I am a shadow of myself. I have taken love for granted. Given all my affections to the highs that brought me so low again. Alone. Wondering what new miseries the day will bring. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Lightswitch

"if you have been dead a couple times and you KNOW it is nothing more than a light switch, no romance , no judge of character or morality, its just like going to sleep, and there is nothing to fear about it, how are you ever supposed to hit "rock bottom" and turn this thing around?"

The first time I ever used heroin was the first time I ever saw someone overdose. Well, I had not even used mine yet. The two experienced junkies took turn hitting us suburban pupils up with the same barbed rig. Within seconds, I saw my friends eyes roll back in his head. Before anyone could scream in fear, I saw him grip the table with so much force I was told it was called the death grip. That split second when his body clung to his diminishing life force in such a way it made an impression on me for the rest of my life. The body, it seems, does not want to die despite the ill advised efforts of the host within.

In the life cycle of the junkie, there is a period at which your body is your worst enemy. Every minute of every day is a struggle to stem the tide of misery. The goal is a dreamlike state balanced somewhere between I don't give a fuck and at this moment the world is perfect. Except it isn't. The house is burning.

The real enemy of life is the mind inside the struggling body. The mind that is never satisfied, constantly reaching for the next thing that might allow for fleeting happiness. That mind churns and spins with  a riptide pulling the body under on a daily basis. Heroin is the beautiful siren, calling at the rocks until the user navigates the body back into a familiar spot until it crashes again. 

As you lay on your bed curled in a shape constructed by fear, feel the heart beating inside your chest willing you to continue. As your mind seeks answers to the same tired questions, the body silently goes about the business of living. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Loving an Addict

I was having a conversation recently with a friend about my minor obsession with the well being of a friend. She casually stated "the only thing worse than being an addict, is loving one." These words kind of fucked me up for a few moments. I'm a writer. I consider myself able to turn a good phrase. Yet, I had no witty rebuttal. These words stung for days. 

For the first time in my life, I was experiencing what others must have experienced when I was on drugs. I have made friends with addicts before, hundreds of them over the years. Between my own drug use and working at harm reduction facilities, I have been in the consistent company of drug users for close to thirty years. To a certain extent, I always was able to put up a decent sized wedge of self preservation between myself and the other person. I always knew in the back of my mind that at any moment, the "other shoe" of overdose, murder, or other type of brutal end could happen to my people. I am a jaded realist, I thought. Keeping my emotional distance the way I kept it after my father relapsed for the first time. That event sealed my belief that a piece of my heart needed to be set aside for the inevitable downside that comes with a life dealing with driven by chemicals. 

I was blindsided recently by a friendship that developed over a common love of writing. I caught myself laying awake at night wondering if this person was alright. Silly, I told myself. Not worth stressing over I would say outloud. Yet it happened to me. I was the person who loved at addict. I was the person wondering if every missed text meant they were somewhere shooting up in between their fingers. I was the person checking social media to see if they were still there. It isn't to say I haven't loved other people who have been hooked on drugs. I have just never experienced the other side of it. That complete helplessness of knowing someone is bound to make poor choices and there is not a single fucking thing you can do at that moment. That loss of control over any aspect of the relationship is both scary and crippling. I couldn't help it though. That was what I felt, how I felt. They became my friend. So I cared/care despite the pain. It turned a mirror to myself. 

I don't know if this person and I can or will remain friends because that is just how life goes. But I do know I grew as a person. I know I have a deeper appreciation for my work in harm reduction. I know I can't be afraid to pass up the small moments in life anymore. 

I love you xoxo 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

For a friend

Everything about you is so perfect.
My heart aches knowing you. 
Like the bed is spinning 
After a night of heavy drinking 
I get sick to my stomach 
With just a few of your passing words. 
Painful to see you toss and turn, 
To grip the pillow with swollen fingers. 
Painful to see your empty smile. 

If you could only see what I see. 
Like the friend I have always wanted 
Like the person I know you to be 
Perfect in your imperfections. 
Like the person I know you to be. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Let me live

This is dedicated to all the fools who says that we should just "let them die". 

I loved shooting drugs.
I loved shooting drugs in public places. 
I didn't not give two fucks if I shot up in front of your kids. 
I would lick the blood to taste the last bit of dope. 
I would carry rigs in my pocket like my life depended on it. 
I've shot up with water from a puddle. 
I've walked all over the city with no shoes high on meth. 
I've turned a trick on soiled newspaper in the rain. 
I've cried over spilled dope. Never over my choices. 
Until I did. 
One day, I imagined something different for myself. 
People change.
I changed. 

Never, ever tell me there is no hope. 
I am living proof. 
I am a mother, an employee, and activist, a wife. 
People love me. 
I rescue cats.
I help others. 
Fuck your judgment. 
Let me live.